Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! James 3:5
Some of you may remember our former Pastor, Brother Sam Mc Conohea, showing his teeth and calling them our "personal pearly gate." He would say that we needed to guard our gate so that we kept our tongue in its place- behind the gate. All down through time people have made shipwreck because of their mouth. We have to keep a watch on our own mouth; somebody else can’t keep a watch for us.
In 1938, there was a 60-minute program on the radio called the War of the Worlds by Orson Wells. The show was aired on the Columbia Broadcasting Company. For the first forty minutes of the program, it was newscasters giving information about how we had been invaded by aliens from Mars. During that forty minute time period, many people turned on their radio, unaware of the program, so what they heard was one newscaster after another. They were hearing the newscasters saying that the United States had been invaded by aliens from Mars. The information put a lot of people in panic. When they found out that it wasn’t true, they were angry. Words are powerful and can do a lot of things.
The Great Plague was in the world in the Fourteenth Century. There was a story that went around that said that the Jews had caused it by poisoning the well systems in the towns. What happened to the Jews? There was a massacre of the Jews. People were so angry because of the plague that was going on. They were thinking that the Jews had caused it. The Jews didn’t have anything to do with it. It was a gossip story that had been started and so they killed thousands of Jews because they thought that they had polluted the water system.
Some of you may remember Bernard Goetz in the 1980’s. He shot four young people in the New York Subway system. In the first trial, he was prosecuted and let off from murder. He was only given a sentence for unlawfully carrying a handgun. After the acquittal, he started talking. The more that he talked, the more people got concerned, so they opened up the case. They had a Grand Jury trial that found him guilty of second-degree murder. He was jailed. It was all because he opened his mouth. If he had just kept it closed after the first trial, he would have been fine. A lot of people think they can talk about this and that and there won’t be any harm. We need to guard what we say.
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3